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Rebordering Britain & Britons after Brexit

From Mobile Workers to Fellow Citizens and Back Again? The Future Status of EU Citizens in the UK


Growing concerns and hostility towards continuing large-scale flows of immigrants following the two rounds of EU enlargement and high levels of net migration played a major part in the Brexit referendum result for the UK to leave the EU. So too had welfare chauvinism, or the belief that welfare benefits should be restricted to citizens, come to the fore in negative attitudes to EU immigration, reflecting a rejection of EU migrants as fellow citizens. As the article shows, proposals as of summer 2017 for the status of current EU citizens in the UK indicate a desire by the UK government to incorporate current EU citizens within the far more restrictive British immigration rules, thereby curtailing some of their basic free movement rights, especially in relation to future family members. Leaked proposals for future EU citizens post-Brexit are to bring them within a single overall immigration system covering EU and non-EU migrants and applying differential rights of residence to skilled and less skilled, thereby stratifying EU migrants according to educational level and labour market sector. This would represent a return to the status of mobile workers with conditional rights of residence and social entitlements similar to those faced by non-EU migrants.

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Social Policy and Society


Alessio D'Angelo (United Kingdom)
Eleonore Kofman (United Kingdom)

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